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Why there is an epidemic of drowsy drivers on Louisiana’s roads

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2022 | Wrongful Death |

You know that you shouldn’t drive while drunk or pick up your phone when you receive a text message notification while driving. Most people understand what is safe and what is risky when it comes to their driving habits.

However, there is one serious threat to your safety that you may not take as seriously as you should. Drowsy or fatigued driving has a strong association with serious collisions. Obviously, it is very dangerous for a commercial driver to get behind the wheel when they feel fatigued. They are subject to Hours of Service rules to help prevent fatigue-related crashes involving commercial vehicles.

There technically aren’t any fatigued driving rules that limit how long you can drive your own car. However, fatigue will eventually catch up with you and start to affect your performance at the wheel. Why are there so many drowsy drivers contributing to crashes on the Louisiana roads?

Adults don’t get enough sleep

Federal research into health makes it clear that most adults in the United States don’t adequately take care of themselves. Roughly one in three adults at any given time are in a state of sleep deprivation, meaning that they did not get enough rest and it affects their cognition or mood.

When at the wheel of a motor vehicle, inadequate sleep causes several concerning issues. It can lead to someone falling asleep at the wheel, which is obviously very dangerous. However, you can remain conscious and still have fatigue increase your risk on the road.

Drowsy drivers may have a hard time focusing on their surroundings. They may make poor decisions given the circumstances and may have longer reaction times than drivers who have bad adequate rest. Many people knowingly choose to drive when they feel exhausted and don’t think there’s anything wrong with that choice.

Caffeine is no solution

Demanding work schedules and a lack of social support when dealing with children or personal health issues contribute to people’s fatigue. So does failure to understand the right way to handle fatigue.

Many drivers simply use caffeine or other stimulants to overcome their sense of exhaustion, without recognizing that stimulant consumption does not replace rest. In fact, the after-effects of consuming a lot of caffeine could further inhibit someone’s ability to drive. If you feel tired, then it is likely a good decision to have someone else drive rather than trying to tough it out and putting everyone in your vehicle and near you on the road at risk.

Identifying and reducing the risk factors that could lead to motor vehicle collisions can help protect Louisiana drivers.